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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who needs pesky checks and balances?

President Bush knows so well what's best for us, let's just get it over with and disband the legislative and judicial branches of government. Since we're in a never-ending war where all matters of state involve national security, there's no point in less-informed and enemy-inclined legislators, not to mention those darned activist judges, bogging down the decision-making that is best left to good King George.

The American people aren't so good at determining policy issues either. Heck, we don't even get the chance to sit in on security briefings like our representatives, and we all know how out of the loop they are. And how else to explain the Presidents ever-dropping approval ratings. We might as well ditch the whole concept of representative democracy and sign over our collective destinies to the wisdom of the all-mighty (George W not God, although I guess he does speak for God).

One of those terrorist-loving senators actually had the nerve to seek a law that makes it possible to sue the beloved leader over his use of the practice of "signing statements." The explanation of what that means may sound a little wonkish, so read it for yourself below.

Specter crafts bill to let Congress sue Bush

BY LAURIE KELLMAN

WASHINGTON -- A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.

''We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will . . . authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional,'' Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said on the Senate floor.

Specter's announcement came the same day that an American Bar Association task force concluded that by attaching conditions to legislation, the president has sidestepped his constitutional duty to either sign a bill, veto it, or take no action.

Bush has issued at least 750 signing statements during his presidency, reserving the right to revise, interpret or disregard laws on national security and constitutional grounds.

"That non-veto hamstrings Congress because Congress cannot respond to a signing statement," said ABA president Michael Greco. The practice, he added "is harming the separation of powers.''

Bush has challenged about 750 statutes passed by Congress, according to numbers compiled by Specter's committee.

The ABA estimated Bush has issued signing statements on more than 800 statutes, more than all other presidents combined.

Signing statements have been used by presidents, typically for such purposes as instructing agencies how to execute new laws.

Many of Bush's signing statements serve notice that he thinks parts of bills he is signing are unconstitutional or might violate national security.

AP
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